Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jack Tatum

(Note: This note is for those who are not familiar with the American Football. This is a very rough sport. That is why the players are paid very well. Each game is played for one hour and only 16 regular games are played in a year. Even the new players who are making their debut are paid millions of dollars each year.)

He was called “The Assassin”.

Jack Tatum, one of the greatest defensive players in American Football died on Tuesday, July 27, of a heart attack.

He was one of the hardest hitters in the NFL (National Football League). As a defensive player, his job is to stop the offensive player from advancing. He intimidated the opposing players with his ferocious tackles. This helped his team, The Oakland Raiders, become the toughest.

Unfortunately, he was also associated with one of the most tragic moments in American Football’s history. In a game (Oakland Raiders vs. New England Patriots) a hit from Tatum left a Patriots player, Darryl Stingley, paralyzed from the neck down. Tatum was not the same person after the hit. Tatum tried to visit Stingley in an Oakland Hospital but was turned away by his family. It affected him very much. For years, he was almost reclusive.

Experts, including many football coaches, who watched the video clip of the hit were of the opinion that it was a “clean hit” and no foul was committed by Tatum.

Even though Tatum felt sorry for Stingley, he had no remorse for his head hunting ways. He wrote a book titled “They Call Me Assassin”. He mentioned about the Stingley hit as follows:

“There's no way to change yesterday. I was paid to hit, the harder the better. And I hit, and I knocked people down and knocked people out. But sooner or later they would always get back up. Yes, they got up every time except one.”

Jack Tatum, one of Football’s great is no more. May his soul rest in peace.


  1. Who Posted This?July 28, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    The Raider Nation truly lost one of it’s greatest players ever – Jack Tatum.
    He was one of the very best and was coached by the best - in college with Woody Hayes and in the pros with John Madden.
    A ferocious hitter who intimidated everyone that came into his area to catch the ball.
    George Atkinson, Willie Brown, and Jack Tatum – played for same team at the same time. WOW! That may be the greatest DB lineup ever.

    After football and into his later years – he became very reclusive.
    Especially after having part of his leg amputated due to diabetes.

    RIP Jack.

    Al Davis

  2. Thanks for your comments Al. Even though you are a real study of contrasts, you were consistent with one thing. As the owner of Oakland Raiders, you always supported your players, defended them, and paid them well.

  3. Certain incidents in our life leave a deep mark on our pshche, however brave we might be, or however successful life might make us, but that one incident just stays with us...he was a kind soul coz he was repentent although everything happened in the spirit of the game. Thanks for sharing such an insightful post SG!

  4. Excellent post. I do not know about American football. However, I understand from your post he worked honestly and gave 100% for what he was paid to do. This is not the case with many Indians in any profession including cricket players.

  5. Thank you for the informative post SG!

  6. Thanks for the information. We get to learn a lot when we read blogs.

  7. Thanks for your comments Sana. You have said it very well.

  8. Thanks for your comments Vivek. And, welcome back. Long time no see. I am glad you liked this post.

  9. Thanks for your comments NRIGirl. I am glad you found this post informative.

  10. Thanks for your comments Chitra. I am glad you liked this post.

  11. Thank you SG. It was really informative.

    Whether life or game, it helps not to do anything to hurt others intentionally, if we cannot live with it.

    Jack did what he is paid for. I think behind the Assassin, there was a sensitive spot too. Else he would not have felt the remorse. He would have spend many sleepless nights.

    May his soul rest in peace.

  12. Thanks for your comments Stranger. Jack did not hurt him intentionally. Video clip shows it was a "clean hit".

  13. Where do you get these facts from. I had not heard of this. Found it informative.

  14. Thanks for your comments Kiran. I live in USA and Jack Tatum is a sports legend here. Therefore, his death shook all the sports lovers in USA. Probably you have not heard of this because American Football is not that much known in India.

    Let me give an analogy. If a very very famous cricket player dies in India, the whole of India will mourn for several days. No one would know or care about his death in USA.

  15. Though I do not have much idea about American football but I felt thats the player has put all his efforts and played with full dedication and devotion which lead to success. Wonderful post.

  16. Thanks Kiran. I appreciate your response.

  17. Thanks for your comments Babli. You said it correctly. He was a dedicated player.

  18. Excellent post (as always) SG. Thanks.